How to keep bathroom costs down
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Creating a dream bathroom is a big life goal for many of us. After all, the bathroom is where we start and end each day, so it’s worth investing to create a space you love.
But with bathroom refurbs often costing more than £3,000, that’s quite a big undertaking. Luckily you can make it much more affordable to boost your bathroom… without breaking the bank.
Let’s look at the main elements of a bathroom restyle and how you can save money.
1. Planning your bathroom layout
The first step in creating your new bathroom is to work out what needs to go where. There are a few options to consider.
If you’re updating your bathroom, the cheapest approach is to keep the same layout. That way you won’t need to pay for additional plumbing work or installing new pipes behind walls or under the floor – which can be costly.
If you do need to move some fittings around, do at least try to keep the toilet in the same position. It needs large pipework which is more costly to move. Bear in mind it’s a good idea to have a toilet against an external wall, as it needs to access a waste pipe running down the side of the house.
2. Choosing a bathroom suite
An expensive mistake that many people make is to assume that a bathroom update has to include a completely new suite. Have a good look at your bath, sink and toilet. Do they really need replacing? Or could new taps and wastes give them the makeover they need? Similarly, if your taps or shower system are fairly new, hang on to these and replace other elements that need more urgent attention.
If you do need a completely new bathroom suite, do shop around. Prices can vary widely And there are plenty of bargains – we even have a whole section devoted to suites under £400.
Worth bearing in mind is that while wall hung toilets and concealed shower sets give great clean lines in your bathroom, they require pipework and kit to be installed in the wall, which can add to costs.
3. Consider a vanity unit or mirror cabinet
Decide whether you prefer a pedestal sink, a wall hung sink or a vanity unit. If you opt for a wall hung vanity unit or sink, there may be additional costs involved to recess the relevant pipe work into your wall. Either way, for many bathrooms the best storage offered by a vanity unit – as well as its good looks – makes it a no-brainer! We have a huge range of vanity units to suit every style and budget.
Before you rule out a pedestal or wall hung basin, though, do take a look at these options too as they can lend a clean, simple look to your space.
Some people opt for a mirrored cabinet over the sink as a cost-effective storage solution. These also come in options with built-in lighting including battery powered LED mirrors. So, there’s a stylish storage option for any bathroom, whether you have a connection to the mains or not.
4. Bath, shower or both?
An important decision in your bathroom planning is whether to have a bath, a shower or both. While many people long for a statement freestanding bath, it can be pricey to have both this and a separate shower enclosure. P or L shaped baths give the feel of a spacious shower area with the option of a relaxing bath. With the right tiling and surroundings this can look sleek and chic and frees up bathroom space.
Of course, if you already have a good shower elsewhere in your home, or you’re just not a shower person, there are some great freestanding baths available to create that relaxing haven – some cost less than £400.
5. Bathroom tiling
One way to keep costs down is to limit your use of tiles. You’ll need tiling in certain areas – around a shower or bath, for example – and this can create a great focal point in your room. There are all kinds of beautiful tiles to choose from, so this is something to research carefully. It’s useful to know tiles that are difficult to install like hexagon or herringbone tiles are likely to take longer to install and so probably cost you more. Another top tip is that larger tiles tend to work better in newer homes where the walls are more likely to be straight, whilst in homes where the walls are slightly crooked, smaller tiles are more forgiving.
Take a look at our range of wall tiles for inspiration. From metro tiles to our hexagonal Apollo tiles or the Ribera slate effect tile, there’ll be something perfect for you.
Do keep an eye on the cost per square metre of tiles. Remember that it’s often cost effective to choose larger tiles, as you will need less of them.
Most people opt for tiles on their bathroom floor, too. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are usually the cheapest and a top tip when looking for tiles is to make sure you specifically choose floor tiles, as they will have better grip for wet feet.
Finally, consider whether you need to find a tiler. Tiling is fairly easy to do yourself, but you might need help if you need to fit tiles around shower controls or tricky corners. Tilers can be pricey. Do you have any friends or family that might do the work in exchange for dinner or a bottle of wine?
6. Bathroom heating
Any bathroom needs to be cosy in the winter, so make sure there’s space for a radiator in your design. Many people opt to combine their bathroom radiator with a towel rail, so that you always have a lovely warm towel on hand after stepping out of the shower! There are lots of options to fit every kind of space, and again there’s something for any budget. With our Essentials range you can pick up a bathroom radiator for under £50.
7. Plumbing costs for a new bathroom
Finding a good plumber to install your bathroom is often one of the biggest challenges in any restyling project. Always get at least three quotes. The cheapest approach is to get the plumber to just focus on the installation of the suites and taps.
The Plumbers Rates website suggests this would cost around £500 – but some providers will try to persuade you to let them manage the tiling and other jobs as part of this too. That decision is down to your discretion and budget.
8. A touch of bathroom luxury
Once you’ve created a bathroom on a limited budget, with the right accessories you can create a high end feel to your new space. For example, if you have a single ceiling light it’s an easy job to replace it with a rail of spotlights. This will add instant dazzle and transform the room.
Top tip: if you do change your bathroom lighting, check the IP rating of the lights you like to make sure it’s safe for bathroom use (IP or Ingress Protection is an international method used for checking whether water or solid objects are able to enter the light fitting).
Make sure you have stylish storage solutions to keep clutter at bay – simple shower trays for example and plenty of hooks for bathrobes, brushes and more. If the room needs a focal point, it’s worth investing in one feature that brings you a little joy – a big plant; an oversized vase or a piece of art that matches your style and gives the room a unique touch of… you.
9. Find bathroom bargains
Perhaps the best and most rewarding way to keep costs down in your bathroom restyle is to seek out special promotions. We always want to help our customers find what they need at great prices, so visit our Offers Page regularly. You’ll find any currentdeals that help reduce the overall cost of your suite, details of interest-free credit and sometimes some great voucher codes that reduce the total cost of items in your basket.